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Tabitha's Law Requires Parents to Report Absences

Law also mandates school officials to contact parents if a student is absent without prior notification.

Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation into law on Friday requiring parents to notify officials when their child will be absent from school.

The law also stipulates that school officials must contact a parent if a student is absent without prior notification to the school.

The bill, known as Tabitha’s Law, is named for a Tennessee teenager, Tabitha Tudor, whose parents were not aware she did not attend school one day in 2003. The school did not contact Tudor’s parents to tell them she was absent. They did not know she was missing until almost 5 p.m. that day. She remains missing.

State 40th District Assemblyman Scott Rumana is the primary sponsor of the bill Christie signed.

“Unanticipated absences can be a sign of a bigger problem, which can be solved by being proactive,” Rumana said in a statement. “Responding quickly to an unexaplained absence can avert a tragedy and the heartache that families and communities feel when they hear a story like [Tudor’s].”

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

YGBFKM December 11, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Great effort here, Scott.................DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE RIVER BASIN FLOODING & CLEANING OUT THE RIVERS!!!
Scondo December 11, 2012 at 02:56 PM
My initial reaction to this was that it was legislatively unnecessary. But then upon doing the research, I changed my tune. This is intended to address a serious concern.

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